Location: 1111 E 11th St Austin, TX 78702
Description: Bercy Chen Studio LP is an architecture & urban planning firm founded in 2001 by partners Thomas Bercy and Calvin Chen, both graduates of the University of Texas at Austin. The company has design/build capabilities, which allows for comprehensive sustainability auditing at each step in the production stream.
+ Firm has received numerous awards/honors for its sustainable design, including the Green Good Design Award (2009), Asian American Resource Center Competition (2006), and Urban Reserve Competition (2005).
+ Collaborates with both the public and private sectors.
+ Specializes in adaptable roof systems, including “conventional” green roof systems.
+ Designed and built numerous mixed-use projects.
+ Inspired by indigenous solutions to environmental problems.
+ Developed a proprietary planted-roof system, which more seamlessly integrates a water-barrier membrane.
+ Is a registered photovoltaic contractor with Austin Energy (i.e., installs solar panels in-house).
Conclusion: The first of the architecture firms with whom we met, Bercy Chen revealed the extent to which such organizations are integrating the principles of sustainability into each step of the design process. Ideally, such a workflow results in a final product with more organic cohesion; sustainability is woven into the project, rather than supplemented as an afterthought. Consequently, it’s difficult to extricate individual elements of sustainability from a self-evidence design philosophy. Should this not be the new paradigm, or could it perhaps prove detrimental to broader efforts of raising awareness?
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